In Transition

In Transition: People, landscape and nature in the East Anglian edgelands.

This series documents the places of work, leisure and living spaces of migrant agricultural workers in East Anglia. Specific areas documented included large agricultural businesses and borders between these sites and the wider countryside. To inform this practice, the research includes interviews and portrait sessions with migrant agricultural workers specialists in biodiversity, charities supporting migrants and agricultural employers. Outcomes from the project suggest a body of work that examines and represents the impact of large-scale agriculture and migration on our understanding of community and landscape.

The research is influenced byhistorical documentary and ethnographic approaches (Atget’s documentation of the Zone on the outskirts of Paris, Jennings and Spender’s work in the Mass Observation movement and observations of post-war working class communities in London by Henderson/the Smithson’s), acknowledging the importance of photography and filmmaking in early British ethnography [Edwards,Anthropology and Photography(1992)]. Theoretical influences on the research include the origins of psychogeographic lens-based media practice by the Situationist International, in particular Unitary Urbanism. In addition, the concept of deterritorialization and reterritorialisation [Deleuze & GuattariAnti-Oedipus(1972),A Thousand Plateaus(1980)] are reflected on through their articulation of the weakened ties between culture and place through the effects of migration and capitalism.The project confronts the miss-representation of migrant agricultural labour and our own understanding of landscape.It examines these issues through the intensified change and uncertainty of the EU transition period.

Every Home in the Wielewaal


 

De Wielewaal is a small neighborhood in Rotterdam which was developed in 1949 to reduce the housing shortage after the war. The homes were initially planned as  semi-permanent housing, but many are still occupied.

De Wielewaal is located between the Kromme Zandweg in the north, the Schulpweg in the west, the Korperweg in the south and the Groene Kruisweg in the east. The district comprises 20 streets with originally a total of 545 homes. The majority of the houses have one floor.

Some of the houses have not been maintained as they were originally intended to last for about 25 years until more permanent houses were built. Now in a partial state of demolition, the municipality of Rotterdam planned that the homes would only remain until 2015. Many of the residents enjoy living in the area and have indicated by a large majority (95 percent) to develop their own plan “Van en Voor de Wielewaalers” to remain in the area. This plan means that on the current footprint the homes 1-on-1 will be replaced by new homes. This keeps the unique character of this district intact. In 2016, a part of the residents left their house and each abandoned house was completely closed off. T.

The name Wielewaal does not refer to the bird of the same name, but the nearby lakes Wiel en Waal, which originated in the Middle Ages at dike breaches.

These images reveal the uniqueness and the individuality of the buildings and area and attempt to preserve the community, before they are eventually demolished and replaced.

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Night-time Economy

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Download a free Ebook here Night Time Economy.

Many cities and their residents are adapting to the needs of a 24/7 society where work and lifestyle habits revolve around the global forces of late capitalism. As our lifestyles change to suit the demands of work, there are many social and economic opportunities in expanding the nighttime economy. Cities such as London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Rotterdam have developed innovative ways of lighting central areas and extending opening hours, to create vibrant social scenes and in turn boost local economies. Artificial light however, is globally one of the most widely distributed forms of anthropogenic pollution. Artificial lighting masks natural monthly and seasonal regimes of lunar sky brightness in cities and increases the number and annual regime of full moon equivalent hours available to organisms during the night. The changes have potentiallyprofound ecological consequences.

This new project using the city of Rotterdam will research and reflect on the impact of the night-time economy on social and economic life and the effects on the environment in and around the city. The night-time has primarily been a space of wildness and wilderness, dominated by nocturnal plants, organisms and wild life. As we encroach further into this space, how much are we altering environmental cycles as well as our own primarily domesticated and day-time nature?

Using Photography, film, the project will interrogate, document and juxtapose the impact of the night-time economy in Rotterdam. The project will also interview night-workers, biologists and environmentalists to consider alternate views of the benefits and negative impact of the expansion of city-centre nightlife.

Night-time economy is an ongoing research project by artist Marc Atkinson developed during his stay at Charlois Aan Het Water  in Rotterdam. The project is funded and supported by CBK Rotterdam and the Artists International Development Fund

Paradoxical Sleep (extract) from Marc Atkinson on Vimeo.

 

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Visit the dedicated website here

 

Resident Exhibition

Along the Outskirts was a project that developed out of a year-long residency with Metal in peterborough. The project reflected on the growth of the city of Peterborough and the liminal landscapes that exist along its peripheries.

Outcomes from the project included: a website with articles related to the Peterborough landscape, audio recordings with local people, short films and information, a group exhibition with artists Jessie Brennan and Matt Lewis at City Gallery in Peterborough, a 60 min film and a series of photographs collected into a catalogue introduced by writer Ken Worpole

 

Summary

Most cities share a complex and evolving dialectic between the rural and the urban. Through the project, we will explore this dialectic and suggest the alternative notions and experiences of our cities, whose identities are usually formed from fixed centre based perspectives.

The project aims to highlight the complexity and evolution of our modern landscape by documenting and tracing the outskirts and edges of the city of Peterborough. It can be argued that there is an increased urgency in the current climate, to explore, document and highlight these ‘uncharted’ areas as they are continually re-constructed through the effects of urban sprawl, environmental change, government policies and increased geographic mobility.

Land and the environment more generally, is becoming a contested space with its uses debated and strategized over.

 

You can listen to a Resonance FM show featuring an interview with all three artists here…Resonance FM

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Fermynwoods Contemporary Art commission

 

The Sound Lines project was developed as a commission for Fermynwoods Contemporary Art as part of Open Online 6 ‘Too Long for ITunes’. It consists of a 45 min audio track and accompanying map. Each section of the track is the same length as those of the walk. The sounds and music have been developed from original field recordings of the park and electro-acoustic compositions representing observations of the forest area.

Instructions for experiencing the Sound Lines audio map/album were promoted through digital means via the Fermynwoods digital exhibition platform for Open Online 6 launching 01 Jan 2016. The artwork can only be fully experienced by visiting Fermyn Woods Country Park  The audio map/album was downloadable as part of Open Online 6 or via scanning a QR code image left at the location.

The project also involved walking workshops in sound recording at the site.

A sample of the tracks can be found here

 

 

 

Rona

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Rona is an island off the mainland of Scotland and the Isle of Skye. The Island has had a long history of occupation and the remains of its inhabitants can still be found in this remote place. The project documents and maps the Island through the traces of dissapearance that can be found there. Despite its remoteness the Island is also threatened by the effects of overfishing and climate change (drought and flooding). The project attempts to reflect the Island as a microcosm of our own possible future, in which large groups are forced to abandon their homes or homeland as it becomes uninhabitable through social or environmental changes.

The Final Reel

Acted as Producer, researcher and writer on this feature documentary narrated by Sir John Hurt funded partly by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Issam Kourbaj

A portrait film of celebrated Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj.

Metal Residency – The Outskirts Project – Peterborough

I undertook a yearlong residency with Metal in Peterborough. The primary project for the residency was to map the peripheries of the City of Peterborough, through short films, photography and writing. The project also involved interviews and workshops with people across the city.

You can purchase a catalogue with introductory essay by Ken Worpole here

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Most cities share a complex and evolving dialectic between the rural and the urban. Through the project, I will explore this dialectic and suggest the alternative notions and experiences of our cities, whose identity is usually formed from fixed centre based perspectives. 

The project aims to highlight the complexity and evolution of our modern landscape by documenting and tracing the outskirts and edges of the city of Peterborough. It can be argued that there is an increased urgency in the current climate, to explore, document and highlight these ‘uncharted’ areas as they are continually re-constructed through the effects of urban sprawl, environmental change, government policies and increased geographic mobility.

You can access the full project website here 

 

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Trinity Walk

 

I created 5 5 sec films for Big Screen Little Picture a project to create short videos for a large digital screen at Trinity Walk shopping Centre in Wakefield.  The project was developed by The Art House, a national Visual Arts Organisation, based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The video works were produced from a mapping project around the periphery of the City of Wakefield. Each sequence considered some of the more marginal spaces of the city, offering a unique viewpoint and contemplation of the influences that continue to shape its boundaries.

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